Starmap Apps Lets You View Asteroids within The Galaxy Live on Your iPhone or iPad
2005YU55 is an asteroid that will fly closer to the Earth than the moon in the next few days, a so-called NEO (Near-Earth-Object) [USA-today].
According to USA Today, the asteroid is scheduled to fly between the Earth and the moon’s orbit Tuesday, Nov. 8. Such events are fortunately very rare. We expect the next object to be flying this close to us not to arrive until sometime in 2028.
The good news for Starmap and Spacemap users is that it is viewable in both of these applications, and Spacemap is the only iPad app to show the 2005 YU55′s orbit in 3D animation.
Starmap, a leader in astronomy applications, publishes this information on our iPhone and iPad apps.
Here is how to access it:
As Starmap catalogues contain 470,000 asteroids, these are not delivered by default with the application. However, updating the catalogue is quite easy. Go the Settings, select Solar System, Asteroids, and select the package Main Belt. The Main Belt is a region between Mars and Jupiter occupied by 700,000 to 1.7 million asteroids. Not all of them are known of course.
Once Starmap has uploaded the asteroid package, go to the Search function, and look for 2005YU55.
[update, many users are downloading the asteroid catalogue and there is a lot of traffic right now. In case of time-out, simply try again].
Astronomers are permanently surveying these objects. As you might notice in Spacemap, the asteroid is not flying really close to Earth when zooming. The truth is that the trajectories of such objects are quite erratic and our knowledge only of their paths is only partial. The average precision is the Moon-Earth distance. So when an object flies close the Moon orbit, it is very carefully monitored by Scientists.